You can watch your DVDs the usual way, with a DVD player. But what if you want to watch your DVD movie on a trip, on a plane or where you have no wifi/cellular data connection with? In such situations, copying DVDs to USB flash drive is a good way since USBs have larger storage capacities at lower prices (It's easy to get a USB flash drive with 256GB, 512GB and even 1TB). Not only does this allow you collect your favorite movies and videos in one device as compared to the large collection of disc, but you can declutters your room and saves your local storage space as well.
Nevertheless, you cannot get access to the commercial DVD content by direct copying. This is why this article exists. Here we will analyze the reasons why you cannot transfer DVDs to USB drive directly, also we'll show you how to easily and fast copy protected DVDs to hard drive on Windows 11/10/8/7 and Mac.
Table of Contents:
Why Can't You Copy DVD to USB Flash Drive Normally?
Generally, instead of "copy DVD", we say rip DVD to USB fash drive. Why? Almost all DVD movies and TV shows are armed with one or more copy protection schemes. These schemes are stored in the normally inaccessible lead-in area of the disc, as a move to prevent the files from being copied directly. Therefore, when you extract the video_ts folder from a commercial DVD to USB flash drive, the file seems to end midway with error message as below.
Here are some of commonly used DVD encryption technologies, which hold you back from rip and copy DVD to USB flash drive normally.
◆ Content Scramble System (CSS) - Create scrambled DVD content to protect the DVDs information from piracy and the Region Protectionenforce region-based viewing restrictions.
◆ Sony ARccOS Protection - It is designed as an additional layer and is used in conjunction with CSS. This system deliberately creates corrupted sectors on DVD disc, which cause a majority of regular DVD copy software to produce bad sector errors.
◆ Disney DVD Copy Protection - It is encoded in the latest released DVDs. It disordered the DVD content such that users can hardly locate the right title which contains the main part of the movie. Even though you trudged out to copy full DVD content, you will get about a whopping 40GB output file size and the out-of-order videos that are totally useless.
That's why you end up with failure when trying to copy the encrypted DVD contents directly. And when you play the copied files, typically in .vob format, the decoder will ask for keys from the disc drive and you will get an error such as "Cannot play copy-protected files". In addition to the DVD copy protection schemes, Firmware faults, mechanical failure, and overheating computer also lead to DVD copying failure. As a result, DVD ripper is required to copy DVD to USB flash drive.
How to Copy DVD onto USB Directly [for Homemade DVDs only]
Actually, you can copy non-protected DVDs to USB drive directly and it's pretty easy.
Step 1. Insert the DVD into the disk drive and a USB into the USB port.
Step 2. Double-click the DVD drive. Find and copy all of the DVD's contents and files like ISO image or DVD folder.
Step 3. Open the USB drive, then copy and paste DVD files to the USB drive.
1. Your USB drive should have enough storage (a DVD contains around 4.5GB).
2. Copying a DVD to USB drive may be easy, but the playback may be not. Some players can't open the DVD folder, ISO image or other DVD media.
Is There a Time-Tested Tool to Copy DVD to USB Flash Drive in a Trouble-Free Way
There are numbers of paid or free programs that claim to digitize DVD discs for further saving to USB flash drive. We can call out several big names like HandBrake, VLC and Format Factory. Many free programs shares similar workflows but also produces alike troubles such as it takes too long to rip a DVD, the output is not as good as the original DVD. And most of the free programs can't handle DVD copy protection schemes on its own.
If you do not want to be held back by slow processing, various types of disc copy-protections and poor output quality, EaseFab DVD Ripper will be your best choice. Known for super fast-processing, clean, safe and easy-to-use, it will copy and transfer DVD to USB flash drive directly on Windows(11/10/8/7) or Mac (macOS Monterey incl.). You can easily extract the entire content out of a DVD and save it in any mainstream video formats such as MP4, MKV, H264, HEVC, AVI, WMV, MOV, etc. which is readable by USB flash drive, external hard drive HDD, SSD, NAS, USB, thumb drive, and the like.
It copes well with commercially protected DVDs, damaged/scratched DVDs, covering complicated 99-title discs, ISOs or folders, workout DVDs, regional and even non-standard discs. With 350+ built-in formats and devices, you can also convert DVDs to iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, and other devices with optimized presets. Users can also use it to backup and rip any copy-protected DVD in 1:1 ratio to DVD folder or a single MPEG-2 file.
Part 3: How to Rip and Copy an Entire DVD to USB Flash Drive within 3 Steps?
To begin with, you need to download and install EaseFab DVD Ripper Windows or Mac version on your computer. The guide below takes the Windows version for an example. Mac version has the same process.
Step 1. Load DVD.
Insert the DVD disc into your computer's DVD drive or an external USB DVD drive. Launch EaseFab DVD Ripper, click "Load DVD" button to add the DVD files to the program. EaseFab DVD Ripper can auto detect the right DVD movie title for you. And you can select desired subtitle and audio track before ripping.
Step 2. Choose output profile.
On the Profile panel, there are over 400 profiles including popular formats and device-specific presets. You can choose to copy DVD to any format for like. Below are some suggestions.
1. If you want to copy DVD sto USB flash drive to play on TV, LG/Samsung TV, PS5/4, Switch, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and other devices with a USB port, you can convert DVD to USB drive in MP4 for its wide compatibility, good quality, and small file size. Just go to "Common Video" category and select "MP4" as the output format.
2. If you want to copy DVDs in 1:1 to a USB drive without quality loss, you can backup DVD full title/main title to Video_TS folder or a single VOB file in "Backup" mode. This modes allows you to copy DVDs with 100% quality, all the menus, tracks, extras, etc. But you should know that the video_TS folder or a single VOB file will take quite a large size.
Step 3. Start Copying DVD to USB Flash Drive..
Click "Folder" button in the Output bar, and set the USB flash drive as the destination folder to store the ripped DVD movie video. Then click "Convert" button to begin ripping and transferring DVD to USB flash drive.
Bonus: If you don't have a USB drive at hand right now, then you can choose to save DVD digital copies to cloud storage services, such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Amazon Drive, and iCloud. They will keep your DVD digital library secure and allow you to stream them on demand to whatever cloud-compatible devices.